Following the massive layoffs at Disney, another branch of the entertainment giant left employees and viewers reeling with the surprising and substantial reduction of its workforce. ABC News, mirroring its parent company Disney, dismissed several high-ranking personnel, causing significant changes to its newsroom and production teams.
“As downsizing continues across the company, our ABC News family is also affected,” ABC News President Kim Godwin informed staff in a recently released memo. In the memo, Godwin acknowledged the difficulty of such actions, but emphasized their necessity for ensuring a stable, growth-oriented future for the organization.
CNN reported that several senior vice president positions were among those affected. These layoffs were not limited to low-level employees, but extended to key leadership positions as well. Some of the staff members let go included senior vice president of newsgathering Wendy Fisher, senior vice president of talent Galen Gordon, and Los Angeles bureau chief David Herndon, among others.
In my opinion, these challenging times remind us of the importance of resilience and the belief that, together, we can emerge stronger from this period of transition. Godwin assured staff that more information about the restructured teams and future plans would be shared in the coming days and weeks.
Disney CEO Bob Iger, who resumed leadership after Bob Chapek’s departure, recently announced that Disney plans to cut 7,000 jobs to save the company over $5 billion.
Disney and ABC are not the only organizations facing massive layoffs. NPR is also reducing its workforce by about 100 employees and cutting back on its podcast offerings. In response, some NPR employees have voiced concerns of racism and transphobia, as reported by Bloomberg.
During a tense exchange between CEO Lansing and a laid-off Black employee, the employee raised concerns about the lack of marketing support for some podcasts and questioned how shows could gain an audience without it. They also called for greater accountability from executives.
The employee asked how NPR would prioritize diversity in the workplace, to which Lansing replied that NPR’s programming should be relevant to all of America—a stated mission for the organization.
The meeting escalated as some staff members labeled Lansing’s response as “racist” and inappropriate. One person shared a link to an NPR Code Switch segment titled, “When Civility Is Used As A Cudgel Against People Of Color,” arguing that civility is a weapon wielded by the powerful.
Another employee expressed that the meeting left them more concerned about the future of public media than any previous conversation.
In conclusion, the recent layoffs at Disney, ABC News, and NPR serve as a reminder of the tough decisions companies must make to survive in today’s competitive landscape. As an observer, I hope that these organizations can learn from these experiences and emerge stronger and more resilient in the future.